muse

I clap for faeries.

The holy grail of women’s fashion

July31

Cute swimsuit bottoms!Female readers of this blog already know from their own long-standing, bitter experience just how hard it is to find a swimsuit that works. Really works. Doesn’t move, doesn’t dip too low or ride too high, doesn’t give you a muffin-top or a muffin-bottom (you know what I mean). It doesn’t require expensive salon waxing jobs with exotic names. The perfect swimsuit is covering but still attractive. Trendy is probably too much to ask, but we keep the candle of bright hope burning that it might be possible. Somewhere, our swimsuit is waiting for us, crammed on a rack or visible from one angle only on the pages of a catalog. We will know it when we find it, and when we do, we will all be able to fearlessly frolic, at one with our inner beach bunny.

I’m happy to report I have found one such suit. So pardon me while I shamelessly revel and gloat. But I am super pleased! STV and I leave on our vacation in Maui next Wednesday. Now, I would count myself blessed just to get to go to Maui, even dressed in a burlap bag. Hawaii has been a dream of mine for several years now. I good, active tropical vacation where I get to surf and hike and scuba dive and such is one of the things I had promised myself I would do one last time before we start a family. Part of this, granted, is that I also want one last cavorting session where my abs look decent in a bikini. STV claims I will get them back eventually, but I don’t believe him. At least not in their present state, honed by years of belly dance and a very brutal but effective personal trainer. I wanted a new bikini for said cavorting, so I got the green string top and fuller-coverage bottom pictured here. And OMG, they’re awesome. I can put them on and forget about them. It’s heaven in paisley print. I’m tempted to buy the tank and the string bottom, too, to have the whole suite of options but 1) they won’t get here in time for the trip and 2) heaven has a not-insubstantial price tag… isn’t that always how it goes?

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boom de ah dah

July19

Next in Kat’s list of feel-good videos:

Yes, it’s a commercial, but it also falls in my goofy-grin category. And, it gives you context to appreciate the associated, appropriately random xkcd comic

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Veggie Heaven? I’m not so sure.

July17

So I went to one of Austin’s better-known vegan joints for dinner tonight. Vegetarian cuisine excites me, when I think about it philosophically — vegetables are beautiful, and the eclectic combination of textures and colors and shapes on a plate together looks fresh and inviting to me. So why is it that “vegan food” at Asian restaurants is too often shapeless lumps of fried “chewy vegetable protein?” (Yes, the adjective was actually on the menu.) I don’t want vegetable protein in a runny generic brown sauce. I want vegetables in an identifiable form. I’d rather go the beans and lentils route, with tofu thrown in, which is as close to the veggie protein concept as I think i want to get.

To be fair, I didn’t TRY said dish. Just the appearance was a turn-off. Maybe I’ll be braver next time.

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Dance that inspires

July13

This video has brought a big goofy grin to my face that I’ve been wearing all day. And you know what? I love it.


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

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You Tube N00b

May11

While I’ve had an account for a while over there, and I’ve yet to actually post anything, I’m finally on You Tube courtesy of one of my troupe-mates. Enjoy!

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unhappy hatter

January4

So my little hat refuses to come into being. I’ve been working hard at my first cabling project, a little hat in the “coronet” pattern from knitty. It looks straightforward, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Having ripped the band once and started over, I still believe it is straightforward. Or at least, that it should be. But I’m having wacky issues with the edge of my knitting. The cabling itself is no problem, but my “selvedges,” if you can even call them that are really loopy. I actually mean loopy in the literal sense — It looks like I’m getting an extra little loop or knot in there every time, which means that trying to fix an error by just chaining up the edge (which I learned how to do from this excellent tutorial by techknitting)results every time in something that looks like a slipped stitch at the base of the area I tried to correct. I’ll add photos, but for now I’m just venting.

I’m working the first and last stiches of every row — so knittng them one row, and purling them the next. I didn’t add any stitches or slip anything, because I’ve never done a pattern where I have to pick up stitches; and since the pattern calls for picking up a stich every three rows once the band is done, I was afraid that the slipped selvedge would throw me off when it came time to pick stuff up.

I’m willing to rip it out again, but not until I know what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it. So I’m off to Gauge tonight to buy needles for another project, and to beg and plead them to take a look.

WAH.

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Furoshiki

January4

Again while trolling wine blogs, I found a great demonstration chez Dr. Vino of a furoshiki wine bottle carrier. What a fabulous idea! It’s so simple, pratical, and beautiful. I am never creative enough to think of that kind of thing on my own. Following the links, I took a peek at Japan’s Ministry of the Environment page on furoshiki foldings and usage. It struck me as a brilliant way to create workhorse carryalls, but also as a gorgeous way to wrap gifts. So I’m stashing it here for future inspiration. You can buy legit furoshiki online for about $10, but it seems like it would with any fabric or scarf of the right dimensions.

Neato!!

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Wine Book Club for 2008

January4

While I don’t run a wine blog (HA, this blog has never even pretended to have a theme), I follow a lot of wine blogs. I’m always looking to learn more about wine, largely for my own edification, but also just so I can hold my own with my hardcore oenophilic friends. Dr. Debs, who runs my favorite wine blog, has started momentum in the wine blogging community for a Wine Book Club — where every month, wine bloggers will get together to read, discuss, and review a wine book that’s been selected by a member of the community. I think it is a great idea, and while I’m not really a “wine blogger,” I plan to participate. You should too! The first WBC is being hosted by McDuff’s Food and Wine Trail and is a meaty volume on Italian wines. So head over there for the details. Eventually WBC will have it’s own home at www.winebookclub.org, but there’s not much to see there for now…

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knitting binge

January2

I’m in the throes of a hard-core knitting addiction these days. I’ve finished a scarf for my dad (a PoA Ravenclaw scarf this time, which I’m REALLY pleased with), a baby blanket for a friend, and I’m starting a hat which is also my first cabling project. I’m also spending faaaaar toooooo much time digging around on Ravelry. If you’re a knitter or crocheter, sign up for the beta. Do not question. Only do.

So yeah, that’s where the spare time goes. Not to my novel, which has been mentally marinating for quite a while (it is probably mushy by now). Not to my poor under-used blog. I’m even having to remind myself to go to the gym or jog, since I can always knit before bed.

Addiction is a scary thing, friends…

I really enjoyed the October challenge. I’m going to keep trying to do writing exercises on here. I’m not sure what the interval timeframe will be yet. I put a lot of thought into my New Year’s resolutions, so I give myself a month’s grace to really sit back, contemplate, select, and start acting. I figure that still counts, since I stick with them much better that way.

BTW, I made callbacks for that ensemble. Yay for the political plus of having a badass tenor for a hubby… I’m not proud. Whatever works. I just want to sing again.

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Recovering (Writing Exercise #23)

October24

Well, the audition was horrible. To start off, I was late getting out of work and therefore late to my audition. The gal had just sent the next person in in my place. So as if I wasn’t frayed enough already, I now looked irresponsible to boot.

When I finally went it, the room seemed as big as a football stadium. And very white. White, with a big black grand piano and a slight man in the middle of it. I have always been utterly terrified of him. I don’t know why, as he’s very nice. But I was literally quaking, head to toe. When I went to hand him my papers, you could hear them rattle dryly against each other in my unsteady hand.

He took them, sat down, and we started my song. My knees didn’t exactly hit each other under my skirt, but I could feel every single muscle in my body quivering. And I couldn’t catch my breath. And for a singing audition, that is a very very bad thing. Despite all the practicing I’ve been doing, besides feeling pretty comfortable with my piece, I breathily squeaked it out at a fraction of my usual power and volume. It was utterly humiliating.

He did some vocalizations with me afterwards, which went a little bit better. And then we chatted a bit, just about my job and such. Then he told me they’d be in touch. And then it was over.

I went outside and promptly dissolved into sobbing. I sat down under a crepe myrtle in front of the Methodist church’s pumpkin patch and cried and cried and cried for about half an hour. I managed to call my mom, who came to get me. She convinced me to go back in there and ask to reaudition at a later time. I don’t know how, but I did it. It added in spades to the humiliation, but at least I now feel I did what I could to remedy the awfulness that was my self-presentation. So far, no word back yet.

Mom took me to Trudy’s for dinner where I quickly downed a Mexican martini and refused to feel guilty about the beef fajita tacos or the brownie sundae (at least we split the dessert). Then I drove myself home to wait for Stv to appear, which didn’t happen until about ten-thirty. I cried and knitted the whole time. I was still teary this morning, but by midday I was feeling mostly recovered.

As the icing on a particularly rotten cake, I was so wrung out that I failed to do my writing last night. So with only a week to go in my commitment to do 301 words a day, I stumbled. I can no longer hold my head up and say I accomplished that goal.

And thanks to the Mexican food I’m about a pound heavier today.

NEAT.

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